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climb the ladder to build muscle and strip body fat

Ladders are a very simple, yet brutal workout that allows you to create highly effective conditioning routines when you’re strapped for time. And when you utilize compound movements, you’ll not only build tons of muscle, but strip body fat fast. But be warned. They’re tough and will really test your heart. If you can get through the middle rep range, you’ll be home free.

There are many variations of ladders where you can increase or decrease the weight as the set progresses, but for simplicity, we’ll use the most common ladder scheme—the weight will remain the same and we’ll “walk up and down the ladder.”

Simple Ladder Example (working up the ladder):

Exercise: Kettlebell Swings, pick a moderate-heavy weight

Set 1: 10 reps

Set 2: 20 reps

Set 3: 40 reps

DONE

Next: Go down the ladder >>

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You can also go back down the ladder, like this:

Simple Ladder Example (working up and down the ladder):

Exercise: Kettlebell Swings, pick a moderate-heavy weight

Set 1: 10 reps

Set 2: 20 reps

Set 3: 40 reps

Set 4: 20 reps

Set 5: 10 reps

Easy right? Not really. Ladders are very simple and straight-forward, but very brutal. For today’s workout, I’m going to put a cool twist on the conventional ladder workout.

Try the workout, if you dare >>

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Converging Ladders

We’ll converge two different compound exercises with ascending and descending ladders. Sounds complicated but it’s really not. Let me explain. As we increase the repetitions on one exercise, we’ll decrease the reps on the other exercise, hence the name converging ladders. For round 1, we’ll pick the Bench Press and Barbell Squats (this is going to hurt!).

ROUND 1

Set 1: 10 reps of Barbell Squats, 60-sec. rest, 2 reps of Barbell Bench Press

Set 2: 8 reps of Barbell Squats, 60-sec. rest, 4 reps of Barbell Bench Press

Set 3: 6 reps of Barbell Squats, 60-sec. rest, 6 reps of Barbell Bench Press

Set 4: 4 reps of Barbell Squats, 60-sec. rest, 8 reps of Barbell Bench Press

Set 5: 2 reps of Barbell Squats, 60-sec. rest, 10 reps of Barbell Bench Press

For the first set, the weight on the barbell squats will be light and, as you go forward, you’ll add weight to the bar with each progressive set. For the bench press , the first set will be heavy and as you go forward you’ll take weight off the bar. Next, we hit Round 2 and then we’re done.

ROUND 2

Set 1: 10 reps of Dips, 60-sec. rest, 2 reps of Pull-ups

Set 2: 8 reps of Dips, 60-sec. rest, 4reps of Pull-ups

Set 3: 6 reps of Dips, 60-sec. rest, 6 reps of Pull-ups

Set 4: 4 reps of Dips, 60-sec. rest, 8 reps of Pull-ups

Set 5: 2 reps of Dips, 60-sec. rest, 10 reps of Pull-ups

Of course, you’ll probably have to hit the pull-ups with multiple attempts near the end, but give it everything you’ve got. It’s okay to swing your legs a little for a max effort. That’s not a problem. Just don’t move on to the next sequence of exercises until you perform all of the repetitions.

For more information on Ladder workouts, click here.


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We Love Fitness - 2013